Two Team Blake Singers Duke it Out on ‘The Voice’ With a Randy Travis Classic [Watch]
The Voice was back on Monday night (April 3) with another round of epic battle performances as coaches continue to slim down their talented teams. Blake Shelton, who has coached more than 250 artists thus far in his tenure on the program, had a tough choice to make after pairing together two of his standouts, Grace West and Carlos Rising.
Before heading into the Battle Round, West, 19, belted out Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis,” something that helped her make it onto Shelton’s team since he is the resident country coach. Rising, 28, meanwhile, has never dipped into the country realm — but he found a spot on Team Blake after wowing in his blind audition with Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.”
Heading into this next phase of the competition, Shelton made things tough on Rising, with a song that isn't quite in his wheelhouse, but rather fitting for West. He handpicked Randy Travis’ “I Told You So” — a song that was also featured on Carrie Underwood's 2007 album, Carnival Ride.
“Blake’s really looking to pull something from me and maybe help me develop a muscle. I’ve never really worked out before,” Rising said in rehearsals.
Onstage, Rising proved himself with a matched performance to West. He belted out his parts of the song, showing viewers that he can effortlessly tackle a broad range of genres. He held his own while channeling the touching ballad and playing acoustic guitar alongside his opponent.
The Michigan-born West, meanwhile, showcased her powerhouse vocals and unique vocal tune, which ultimately stole the coach's hearts and had her claiming victory over Rising.
“Carlos and Grace. That was magic,” Niall Horan applauded. “Carlos, your tone is so cool, so husky, and to hear that blend against Grace’s sweet, piercing tone was nice. Grace, your voice is just phenomenal. You’ve got a real, classic tone. I am sad that I didn’t get you in the first place. I think you could go all the way. You are a phenomenal singer. The competition doesn’t have anything like Grace. So I would lean towards Grace.”
“I really like your tone, Carlos,” Chance the Rapper shared. “ I think that you have a very unique voice, but I think that it’s equally matched. I couldn’t even tell you which way to lean, Blakey boy.”
Kelly Clarkson added, “I thought that was so well done. Carlos, your voice could sing many different genres. I think you’re the guy that could literally tackle a rock song, a singer/songwriter song, a country song, or a pop song. I think you’re one of those voices that can carry through any genre. That’s an incredible gift. Grace, what’s cool about you is you have this really unreachable thing. It’s your tone, your soul, and you’re singing through it, and it sounds pure to me. It just depends on your team Blake and like what you’ve got going on.”
“Carlos, it was cool to hear people talk about how you can kind of do a little bit of anything you want to do. I mean, you auditioned with Eric Clapton. Now, you’re doing Randy Travis. You sounded incredible on both of them, man," Shelton said, beaming. "And then Grace, you know, It’s not about doing different things for you. It’s that you were doing what you were born to do. It’s country whether you like it or not when it comes out of your mouth, and you embrace that. That’s what makes you classic, you know. But I do think it was very evenly matched. I appreciate both of you for all of your hard work.”
After his heart-to-heart with his team members, Shelton chose to keep Grace West in the running for the crown, telling folks he felt she has an edge over several other competitors in the competition right now.
“She is so authentic in what she does,” Shelton said. “Grace could be a huge artist in country music. And I want to be a part of that journey.”
To continue being a part of her journey too, be sure to tune into The Voice Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.